Pros:Balance on Speed and Platforming
VMU's Chao Adventure
Cons:Controls sometimes slippery (Ex: homing attack)
Big the Cat
The Bottom Line: Sonic Adventure is a testament to a console way ahead of its time. If you owned a Dreamcast then this is a game you wanted to showcase it's potential.
Sonic Adventure is full of high speed thrills and platforming. As one of the Dreamcast's launch titles this game really is quite a treat. Many of the launch games were highly praised for their graphics and gameplay (just look at SoulCalibur). This game is no exception, from its opening video showcasing Station Square getting destroyed by Chaos all throughout the main game to the final battle as Super Sonic vs Perfect Chaos. It's literally hedgehog heaven.
Recommend this product?
Unfortunately heaven isn't all sunshine and roses. The controls could use tweaking and there's some annoying glitches too. For example when using the homing attack every now and then the lock on system fails and sends you to your death. Another problem which is just expanded on in later Sonic games is controlling Sonic especially at high speeds. Controlling him gets some getting used to, but when you do you should be fine.
By now you probably already know all about the controls and some of the glitches, so I'll try not to dwell on them too much. The glitches can be a pain especially when you find that one spot not coded right and fall through the floor to your death. Here's the thing though, this actually adds to the replay-ability. Thanks to these glitches we know have Tails, Amy, and Knuckles in Sonic's emerald coast. Also many other variations can be used in other character's levels playing through as character not intended to play them. Granted a lot of time when a character not coded for a level plays it they can't finish it, but there are exceptions.
Anyway I still have to talk about the Chao system. In short Chaos are like virtual pets (remember those virtual pets that kept you awake at night). You can raise Chao and they take on traits depending on the character who raised them. This feature is a little limited but greatly expanded in Sonic Adventure 2.
Among getting a Sonic and Amy Chao (then watching the Amy Chao torture the Sonic one) you can get cameo ones like Nights as well. You can also play minigames with them like racing them to win prizes in the Chao garden. When you are done you can save them to your VMU to take with you wherever you go.
I talked about the gameplay and Chao system but there are other aspects as well. Love it or not there are a good number of characters to play as in the game all with different storylines. Problem is this causes plot holes to appear all over. Lesson, don't play this for the story.
Each character has levels designed for their own set of abilities and traits. Knuckles glides and climbs through levels hunting for the scattered fragments of the Master Emerald. Tails sticks by Sonic's side and races him to the finish line using short cuts in the air that only he can get to by flying. Amy protects a flicky bird while bashing the pursuing robot with her Pico Pico hammer (also making time for a little game of hedgehog hammer). E102 Gamma seeks revenge and Big causes massive controversy and hate.
Ask anyone their lest favorite Sonic character and their answers will be either Omachao or Big the Cat. The hate for Big comes from his levels which involve him fishing for his buddy froggy. Yes you fish for a frog, and yes there's fishing in a Sonic game. This is one of the most awkward part of the game as the controls are hard to get used to and honestly Big is very lacking in character (so we don't really ever grow any attachment to him). This makes his levels very boring.
Anyway, the gameplay despite some getting used to controls and glitches, the Chaos, characters and even the soundtrack are all nicely presented. So even with these flaws it's hard not to recommend this game. From the Chao gardens to the main levels to all the nook and crannies to explore (a lot of fan service here) this is a great example of how a Sonic 3D game should be.
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